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RPGamer's Donation Campaign
Well, since nobody has yet taken the initiative, I think I will. How do you feel about the donation campaign?
In my opinion, I think donation campaigns are quite ineffective. It implants in the reader that the site is in danger of going under, quite possibly in the very near future. For new visitors to the site, with absolutely no loyalties, they will be immediately turned off by this and point their browser elsewhere. A longtime reader might be more likely to donate, but in doing so they'll expect results. What if they are not delivered? Driving away the core readership will sink this site faster than anything else.
If RPGamer is growing too big for its britches, perhaps the time is ripe to actually create a subscription service. Sure, it might be no different from begging in the fact that money is being exchanged, but it sure looks a lot more professional. Begging is more of the realm of a desperate fansite. A subscription service could be as simple as locking up the movies. Therefore, only the people who really really want the movies can pay for access to them, and their money can keep the rest of the site free for everyone else to use. If more financial need arises, more premium content can be added, but of course it will need to be of very good quality.
Sure, it would be dandy if RPGamer could remain free. But, unfortunately, sites with high traffic using ridiculous amounts of bandwidth need to be funded. Advertising alone only goes so far. Panhandling doesn't go anywhere. I think its time for RPGamer to mature, or face the music and die off, because begging is only going to speed up that process.